Nicelle Beauchene Gallery is pleased to present GRAB A ROOT AND GROWL, the first solo exhibition by New York-based artist Rachel Foullon.
Foullon engages the cyclical nature of rural living patterns past, present, and future in eight new wall-mounted sculptures. Specifically focusing on shared living spaces inhabited by both humans and animals, referencing birth and death, crop cycles, codependent relationships and the architecture that houses them, a non-mechanical sense of time emerges that is re-contextualized in the artist’s new work. Foullon extends this idea of time and contiguity by way of an expandable matrix of hand-finished milled cedar that slices across the gallery walls. Nodding to centuries-spanning rural architecture from the early Dutch Hallenhaus barn to the sod houses and simple post and beam sheds of the Dust Bowl, these works are simultaneously abstract and representative, revealing humankind’s ties to the land – both tight and un-tethered.
Foullon’s emphasis on rich materiality is evidenced in the dyed and salted sewn canvas forms hung upon the cedar configurations. These anthropomorphic textiles are dyed in reference to sweat, blood and other fluids residual of farm life’s labor and moments both everyday and extraordinary. The exaggerated shapes of a horse’s hood, a work apron and a men’s nightdress are turned inside out and looped upon themselves—recast as soft artifacts amidst the dramatic colors of both the canvas and cedar components. A sculptural interpretation of a materials storage loft hangs through the gallery’s center, herding viewers around the space in an ellipse, a passage memorializing the intensity and ultimate tenacity of living against the odds. Borrowing the rallying cry of a group of resilient Dust Bowl farmers, GRAB A ROOT AND GROWL is a sensory-based exploration into agrarian living at its core.
Rachel Foullon lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her MFA in 2004 from Columbia University. Foullon has participated in exhibitions at Museum 52, NY; Wallspace, NY; Sandroni Rey, LA; Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY, The Venice Biennial, Italy, and has realized an outdoor sculpture commission by the Public Art Fund. In 2004 Foullon co-founded Public-Holiday Projects, a curatorial endeavor with artists Matt Keegan and Laura Kleger.